Doctor Who has had 26 seasons of male Doctors thus far since its premiere in 1963, and a switch-up in show runners is bringing forth a welcome change for the show: the first female Doctor.
The official Twitter account unveiled actress Jodie Whittaker as the 13th Doctor Sunday morning (July 16), and Whovians are erupting in applause, joy, and — for a choice few — outrage.
— Doctor Who Official (@bbcdoctorwho) July 16, 2017
Chris Chibnall, the new show runner, “always knew” he wanted the 13th Doctor to be female, and he told BBC that Whittaker was his “number once choice.”
“Her audition for the Doctor simply blew us all away,” he continued, “Jodie is an in-demand, funny, inspiring, super-smart force of nature and will bring loads of wit, strength, and warmth to the role. The 13th Doctor is on her way.”
Former Doctor Who stars are welcoming her into the family.
Well I never the BBC really did do the right thing and let the Doctor be in touch with her feminine side. As a father of daughters – result!
— Colin Baker (@SawbonesHex) July 16, 2017
a message from Sylvester!
"Congratulations Jodie Whittaker!!!!! One small step for Women, one Giant leap for Womenkind!!"
— Sylvester McCoy (@4SylvesterMcCoy) July 16, 2017
Fans all over the world are delighted by the casting decision, and many are chiding those who are turned off by a female Doctor.
WE HAVE TAKEN YOUR GHOSTBUSTERS AND STAR WARS AND SUPERHEROES AND DOCTOR WHO NOTHING IS SACRED WE WILL DEFILE IT ALL WITH OUR WOMANLY HANDS
— el (@andlivefromny) July 16, 2017
ALL THE LITTLE GIRLS WHO WATCH DOCTOR WHO WILL FINALLY GET TO SEE THEMSELVES AS MORE THAN A COMPANION #DOCTOR13
— amy (@G4YMY) July 16, 2017
As for Whittaker herself, she couldn’t be more excited to step into the role.
“It’s more than an honour to play the Doctor,” she said, “It means remembering everyone I used to be, while stepping forward to embrace everything the Doctor stands for: hope. I can’t wait.”
The casting decision is yet another step in the right direction towards giving women access to major roles in sci fi/action films and television. And remember — the Doctor is a Time Lord alien who travels through time in a police box who regenerates into a new body to recover from severe injury from time to time. Try not to get too hung up on the details.